Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

3/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

After you read this homily, I am sure you will agree with this deacon, we have been given another treasure from heaven.


When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly. We are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord. I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage - the courage - to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward. (Pope Francis)

Pope Francis placing flowers at the altar

Pope Francis placing flowers at the altar

Article Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/16/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Pope Francis, Conclave, Simplicity, Holiness, Evangelical Catholic, Argentina, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Francis of Assisi, St. Francis, Deacon Keith Fournier


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online)- On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, a surprise of the Spirit stepped forward on that balcony in St. Peters Square and took the name of Francis, in honor of the little poor man of Assisi.  The events of the day which followed only further demonstrated the mettle of the man who is our 266th Pope, the successor of the Apostle Peter. They also showed the appropriateness of the name which he selected.

What a treasure Pope Francis has already become in an age filled with self idolatry and politically twisted grandiosity among worldly leaders. He speaks simplicity with both his words and actions. For example, he could have ridden in the Vatican motorcade. There was a beautiful car awaiting him with a license plate from Vatican State - over which he now holds governing authority. It read "Stato Vaticano 1".

After all, some would say, such a car and a motorcade are meant to assure his safety and guarantee his punctual arrival at the next appointment. Those of us in the United States remember that just over one week ago the President of the United States rode in a twenty car motorcade to a Washington DC restaurant just down the street. He dined with two Republican senators and reminded them, as he often does all of us, of his concern for the poor. 

Instead, the Pope named Francis chose to ride in a small bus back to his lodgings where he had stayed with his brother bishops during the conclave which elected him to be the successor of the Apostle Peter. The next morning he packed his own luggage, checked himself out - and paid his own bill.  How very, very refreshing. Simplicity is countercultural in these days of arrogance and grandiosity.

The First thing Pope Francis did on Thursday morning was to make a visit to St Mary Major and pray for all of Rome. He told us all he was going to do so on that historic Wednesday night, after he asked us to pray over him while he bowed in sincere humility on the balcony overlooking St Peter's square. He grabbed the microphone, veering from the protocol, after those assisting him thought he was finished. He told us:  

"Brothers and sisters, I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me and until we meet again. We will see each other soon. Tomorrow I wish to go and pray to Our Lady, that she may watch over all of Rome. Good night and sleep well!"

Of course, that promised visit to St Mary Major followed his cherished time of personal prayer. Reports from friends are that Francis spends two hours every morning in personal prayer. He does not make much of it - just as he does not make much of most things that he doeswithout calling attention to himself.

Things, such as choosing not to live in the residence designed for the bishop in Buenos Aires. Instead, living in a small apartment with an elderly priest where he takes delight in cooking the daily meals. Or, washing the feet of the sick and dying.

At that beautiful Church, Pope Francis placed flowers for the Virgin on the altar. He prayed in silence for a half an hour. He dedicated himself, the pontificate which has been entrusted to him and the whole Church, to Mary, the Mother of the Lord. Like many holy men and women from the earliest days of Christianity, he sees in the Mother of the Lord the model for all disciples. She is the woman whose humble "Yes" brought heaven to earth and earth to heaven.

His first homily on Thursday, at the Mass, celebrated in the Sistine Chapel with his brother Bishops, also reflected the spirit of this simple Pope. The Vatican Press Office provided a translation. It was extemporaneously delivered and came from the heart of the man whom the Lord will use in the months and years entrusted to him to rebuild His Church - so that she can evangelize the world of the Third Millennium which cries out for God's Mercy. 

After you read this homily, I am sure you will agree with this deacon, we have been given another treasure from heaven. After the gifts of Blessed john Paul and His Holiness Benedict XVI, the Lord Jesus has shown his love for all of His Church - and His continuing merciful plan for the whole world. The power of the words in this homily are found in their evangelical simplicity, just like the one who delivered them.

Please, take the time to read his words, pray for him, pray for the Church, and rejoice:

*****
First Homily of Pope Francis

In these three readings(Isaiah 2:2-5, 1 Peter 2:4-9, Matthew 16:13-19) I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading, movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the movement is in [the act of] profession: walking, building, professing.

Walking:  the House of Jacob. "O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord." This is the first thing God said to Abraham: "Walk in my presence and be blameless." Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham in his promise.

Building:  to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With [every] movement in our lives, let us build!

Third, professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a pitiful NGO (Non - Governmental Organization) but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not built on solid rocks, what happens?

What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ - I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy - "Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil." When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.

Walking, building-constructing, professing: the thing, however, is not so easy, because in walking, in building, in professing, there are sometimes shake-ups - there are movements that are not part of the path: there are movements that pull us back.

This Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it." He says, "I'll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross."
 
When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly. We are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage - the courage - to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward.

My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ Crucified. So be it.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Europe

UFO caught on film in England, but it's not a spacecraft... Watch

Image of This mysterious ring lasted for about three minutes in the air before dissipating, according to the eyewitness.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A bizarre black ring is baffling experts in England, after it was filmed by a sixteen year old girl in Warwickshire. The ring apparently hung in the sky for three minutes before dissipating. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nick Pope, a former adviser to the ... continue reading


Russia continues to devour Ukraine Watch

Image of Russia's Prime Minister, and former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev said that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Vladimir Putin has continued his land grab in Ukraine, making it ever more apparent that the Russian president wants to reunite the old Soviet republics and from a new Soviet Union, even at the risk of causing a major war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russia ... continue reading


Immune to poison, GIANT rats terrify Great Britain Watch

Image of Nationwide, councils have reported a rise in the number of rats being reported. Birmingham has the highest number of call-outs with 5,100 in the past year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Rats -- the size of cats" is a lyric in David Bowie's classic rock hymn "Diamond Dogs." It's a terrifying, dystopian vision that unfortunately coming true in Great Britain today, with rodents as large as two feet in length. Even worse, these monster rats have ... continue reading


Pope appoints Lady Margaret Scotford Archer to head Pontifical Academy Watch

Image of Lady Margaret Scotford Archer was born in Grenoside, U.K., and holds a Ph.D. from the University of London. She is currently a professor at l'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. She previously taught for many years at the University of Warwick in Great Britain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lady Margaret Scotford Archer has been appointed by Pope Francis to be President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences." The group consists of scholars dedicated to studying issues in the social sciences in order to offer reflection and advice to the ... continue reading


Dissenting Priest Defies Church of England's Teaching on Marriage, 'Marries' his Homosexual Paramour Watch

Image of An Anglican priest has defied the Church of England's insistence that marriage is between one man and one woman by openly dissenting from the Scripture and Christian tradition and wedding his longtime homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed 51-year-old Laurence Cunnington this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A practicing homosexual priest has defied the Church of England's ban on homosexual and lesbian clergy marrying by wedding his longtime male homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed his long-term homosexual ... continue reading


Who Am I? Homily of Pope Francis on the Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis

This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: all the people welcome Jesus. The children, the young people sing, praising Jesus.But this week proceeds into the mystery of Jesus' death and his resurrection. We've heard the Passion of the Lord. ... continue reading


Pope Francis Gives Away New Testaments to the Faithful. Calls Catholics to Love the Bible Watch

Image of Pope Francis loves the Word of God and calls us to do the same

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Last month, at an Angelus prayer, Pope Francis asked the crowd how many of them read the Bible every day. The response was discouraging. He told them, "It is good to have a little Bible that you carry with you in your pocket or in your bag. Always carry a Bible ... continue reading


The Gift of Wisdom: Pope Francis Begins Series of Talks on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis

Today we begin a series of reflections on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the soul, the lifeblood of the Church and of every Christian: He is God's Love, who makes our hearts his home and enters into communion with us. The Holy Spirit is always ... continue reading


Holy Thursday: Francis to Wash the Feet of the Disabled, Call Us to Christian Discipleship Watch

Image of Francis washes the feet of Jesus, in prison

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis will celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at Our Lady of Providence Center in Rome. The Center is run by the Father Carlo Gnocchi Foundation and is home to many disabled men and women with neuro-degenerative diseases, along with ... continue reading


More Americans on Medicaid than the entire population of the United Kingdom Watch

Image of The 72.7 Americans on Medicaid in fiscal 2013 also exceeded the populations of Thailand which is set at 67,741,401, France at 66,259,012 and Italy with a population of 61,680,122, according to the population numbers published in the CIA's World Factbook.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The number of Americans enrolled in Medicaid at any given time of fiscal 2013 exceeded the entire population of the United Kingdom, That's the shocking new data as published by the federal government's Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission, or MACPAC. ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-9
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 26:14-25
14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 16th, 2014 Image

St. Bernadette
April 16: On April 16, 1879, Bernadette -- or Sister Marie-Bernard, as she ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter